I’m a huge believer that traveling can benefit a writer. There’s so much you can learn from experience that you just can’t get from reading. Yes, I know I’m a writer and a reader who dearly loves to read, but when you go out and actually experience the things your characters do, it shows.
Even when I have no books planned for a particular destination, I hunt down the local history. I’m a history fangirl. For example, last week I toured a Civil War Battlefield on an impulse stop while making a return trip from Florida.From past posts, you’ll see I’ve toured bordellos, jails, haunted islands, etc, which have wound up in my writing–sometimes as a surprise to me! ANYPLACE is fair game for my romance writing fodder.
On a recent trip in the Ozarks, I found a gorgeous bluff overlooking a river. That stop gave me the inspiration for the River Rogues books, my upcoming series set in the 1850s. Lots of little details about the main characters came from the things I gathered while traveling. Certainly I did my homework and researched facts online, but I couldn’t write my heroines with nearly as much believability unless I’d found out more about them.
Soon you’ll meet Philadelphia “Dell” Samuels. She’s the daughter of steamboat gamblers, raised by Ozarks moonshiners. Her story is full of experiences I collected from traveling to the places she went, doing some of the things she did. And even if I can’t witness a 19th century duel between my roguish hero and the villain, I can certainly fill in the gaps with a little creativity and imagination. 😉
Sandra Jones, author ~ legendary romance